This is fun: Let’s harass a woman and ‘˜recuse’ ourselves from job as penance

As per normal course of law, such incidences earn at least seven months of jail or life sentence for the accused.

There does not go a single day by when I turn the television on and there is not a news of harassment or rape or violence against women. Today too did not disappoint me.

One of the pioneers in Indian investigative journalism, Tehelka magazine’s whole-and-soul Tarun Tejpal has been accused of sexual harassment by a colleague. Interestingly, Tejpal has admitted to the crime without any much fuss.

But what makes the case more interesting is the fact that Tejapal has ‘recused’ himself from his work for the shameful act for a full ‘six months’ as a penance!

Yes, you heard it right.

The editor-in-chief wrote an e-mail (read) to the editor of the magazine Shoma Choudhary saying that he was stepping down from his post for whole six months to “do the penance that lacerates” him. 

Not only that, he claimed that the crime committed by him was “a bad lapse of judgment” and “an awful misreading of the situation” which had led to an “unfortunate incident”.

The incidence happened during the ‘Think fest’ event organised by the magazine in Goa earlier this month. The victim, in this case Tejpal’s colleague, wrote to Choudhary detailing her ordeal and demanded a closure. She did not go to the police for filing a complaint because she wanted to conceal her identity and save herself from further maligning of reputation.

It should be noted that the incidence comes in light through a woman only – Shoma Choudhary – who did not take any action from her side regarding the case. Given her announcement (read) regarding Tejpal’s stepping down, she seemed satisfied with his apology and sympathetic towards him.

Also, newspaper Indian Express reported that Choudhary told the newspaper that woman journalist had not filed a criminal complaint and that she, as well as other staffers, were “satisfied with the action taken”.

Six months? Is this period enough for doing penance for the gruesome act that Tejpal carried out?

As per normal course of law, such incidences earn at least seven months of jail or life sentence for the accused.

At a time when the country has a serious crunch of role-models in terms of respect towards women, we are coming face to face with cases of people harassing women at work place who hold higher posts. First it was a supreme court judge and now an editor-in-chief of a reputed magazine.

This is only sending a bad message to the society. The whole time the media has been seeking justice for women and here is a classic example of apathy towards one.

What Tejpal has done says – let’s have fun harassing a women and do penance by ‘recusing’ ourselves from work for just six months.

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